10 Apr 2010

Adopted Russian child sent back from US alone

4:00 pm on 10 April 2010

Russia is considering suspending the adoption of Russian children by people in the United States, after a seven-year-old boy was sent back because his adoptive family rejected him.

Artyom Savelyev arrived alone at a Moscow airport with a typed letter from his adoptive mother in Tennessee asking the Russian government to annul the adoption on the grounds that he was mentally unstable.

Russia's Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, says that the way the child was treated was "beyond immoral", and that US adoptions of Russian children would be halted in the meantime.

Russia is the third largest source of foreign adoptions to the United States with 1586 in 2009, according to the US State Department.

Told he was going on a tour

A spokesperson for Russia's children's rights ombudsman says that Artyom Savelyev, who had spent six months with the US family after being adopted from an orphanage in Russia's Far East, was simply told he was going on a tour, and was tired and confused when he arrived in Msocow.

An airline staff member too him to a driver who'd been hired via email for $200 to take him to the Ministry of Education.

The boy will probably go back into foster care, the spokesperson says, and, if the US adoption is annulled, be put up for adoption again.